The Avengers star has signed on to play Major Motoko Kusanagi in the live action Ghost in the Shell
By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)
Hollywood has been working (on and off) on several American live-action adaptations of famous Japanese anime properties. At one time Neon Genesis Evangelion was in the works, but has long been dead, Akira has been called dead more times times than Jean Grey and back in October we heard rumors that Scarlett Johansson had been approached to play the main character in Ghost in the Shell, then silence for a couple of months.
Looks like whatever the hold up was has been dealt with as Variety is reporting ScarJo has signed on to play Major Motoko Kusanagi in the live action Ghost in the Shell. The film hasn’t been greenlit yet but Steven Spielberg is a huge fan of the property and has been a supporter of getting this movie up and running. Now that they’ve optioned a big name like Johansson it should just be a matter of time before they’re given the go-ahead.
Rupert Sanders, who directed Snow White and the Huntsman, is set to helm this film, based on a screenplay by William Wheeler (The Hoax). Avi Arad is producing the film with his son Ari Arad and with Steven Paul for DreamWorks, and possibly Paramount, who have the option of signing on as well.
In order to make this film work for a general American audience, there will be some changes almost certainly starting off with the name Motoko Kusanagi. As a general rule, I have no problems with changes made to stories for adaptation purposes, as long as the spirit of the story holds true to the source material. So I’m not worried about superficial changes like the names.
What I do worry about is all of the interesting metaphysical aspects of the story being done away with. In the anime movie, Kusanagi’s entire body was cybernetic, making her question whether she was ever a human being, or has just been programmed to believe that she is human. It’s one of my favorite aspects of the animated film, and I hope they keep it in there.
Sanders is also rumored to be directing the Van Helsing reboot with Tom Cruise for the Universal shared monster universe films. We know that Alex Kurtzman is directing The Mummy for an April 2016 release, and The Wolf Man, with Aaron Guzikowski writing the screenplay, is expected to premiere after The Mummy. That gives Sanders room to do Ghost in the Shell before he’s up for Van Helsing.
Scarlett Johansson can next be seen as Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron in theaters May 1, 2015. Stay tuned for more Ghost in the Shell film news!